Renewed diplomacy is urgently needed to prevent another Gaza war

27th May, 2021

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US secretary of state Anthony Blinken and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint news conference in Jerusalem on 25 May. Photograph: Reuters

The war in Gaza this month was the third war since 2008, and there have been other rounds of fighting in between. In between the wars there is no peace, as Palestinians live under various forms of occupation in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Diplomats and western media seem to be pointing to these underlying problems more often than in the past, in part because US progressives are starting to see parallels with civil rights and apartheid. But, so far, the ceasefire seems to have brought only a return to business as usual. As just one example, the recent flare-up in violence began with the planned eviction of Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. These evictions are still being considered, along with others in the neighbourhood of Silwan.

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